There is always oil on your skin. Oil helps your skin stay soft. Whenever you touch something the sweat and oil on your fingers transfers from your hand to the object that you touch Oil and sweat are colorless, so the print that you make when you touch something is not very visable.


We call the print you leave behind when you touch something a LATENT print

You can make the print more visible, by allowing a dark dust to stick to the oils. The police use dusting powder, which is very light. Put dusting powder on the brush and sprinkle the dust over the latent print. Blow off the excess dusting powder. Now circle the print with a crayon.

Putting dusting powder on the latent print

After blowing off the excess powder we see the darkened print

Using tape we remove the darkened print from the jar

A person may leave a latent print when they touch an object. The value of the latent print for identification depends on the clearness of the print and where the print is found. The surface they are on is also important. Latent prints are often impossible to see and require the use of
chemicals and powders to make them visible. Latent prints are used to help solve crimes.

J. Edgar Hoover

You will need to get some supplies. You will need;
  1. a make up brush (for your dusting brush),
  2. dark color eye shadow (for dusting powder), and
  3. transparent tape.
Put your prints on a glass jar. Show Mom and Dad how to dust and lift Latent Prints. Have them write you a note telling that they learned how to dust for prints from you.
F.B.I. worker dusting a coffee cup for finger prints